The Long War sees five groups of captains battling for dominance over a sector of space rich in resources, offering great prestige to the group who triumphs in a battle lasting several weeks. Zones within this sector are targeted for acquisition on a daily basis, and captains will need to gain wins in Fractured Space in order to successfully capture these zones.
The grand prize of The Yellow Jersey is at stake for the victorious group, with other rewards available as the Long War evolves.
The Long War is fought between five groups. These groups are:
Who these groups are and what they represent will be shaped by players in the Long War over subsequent seasons. You will be deciding the history and principles of these factions through the alliances, strategies and actions you make.
Each of the five groups has a leader. This individual selects the targets to attack on a daily basis and decides how to spend defensive points in order to prevent critical zones from being taken. At the end of each season nominations will open for new leaders, nobody may serve more than one term at a time although an outgoing leader may be nominated in a later season. With nominations in place all members of the group vote on who will lead them in the next season.
Leaders are encouraged to look for diplomatic as well as aggressive options to gain victory, and they’ll work closely with the war reporter to ensure that their group is well covered in coverage of each season. As mentioned above, the lore surrounding the Long War will be built by the players, and this is a key aspect of it. Leaders are free to expand on the basic rules of the game however they see fit, whether that involves exchanging zones, agreed non-aggression or anything else that carries a non-automated aspect to it.
In the first season the leaders have been pre-selected since they represent veteran, active players with a proven history of leadership. The leaders are Chee, Comandos, Daseinwashere, KaiKer and Serafine.
The war reporter is a special role that will gather information and propaganda from the group leaders, delivering updates on the war as it progresses. This function may be exploited by group leaders to aid their recruitment prospects in later seasons, spread misinformation and help secure alliances. To begin with the official war reporter is Xerid, although he may step down later or other news agencies may emerge.
Each season of the Long War takes place in a new sector of space split into multiple zones. Each group starts in a different area, but their objective is the same – capture as many zones as possible and bonus rewards along the way. The group that holds the largest number of zones at the end of the war is the victor. Some zones are more valuable than others, and there are others that will give a bonus reward to the group holding them when the war is done.
Capturing a zone is straightforward. Every day the groups leaders will select a zone adjacent to one they already own and target it for capture.
If a zone is unoccupied, it is simply a case of targeting that zone and scoring a single point.
If two or more groups target the same zone at the same time the group scoring highest will take the zone.
If a zone is occupied already the attacking force must score more points than the defender has allotted to protect it.
How does a group score points? Easy. Win games. Every game won by every member of the group contributes to the overall result. It doesn’t make a difference what time they play, whether there are rival group members on the same team or whether there is another member of the group on the opposing team, a win is a win.
Some zones have slightly different rules for capture, for example only wins in Frontline or wins using a Zarek Industries ship may count, and every day leaders will receive a report of the contribution each member of the group has made. This could be a big task so it’s possible that leaders appoint deputies over the course of the war.
In this first season of the Long War we are keeping the game as simple as possible. Adopting a walk-before-we-run principle allows us to try various different ideas out before evolving the most successful in subsequent seasons. Our primary aim in this first run of the game is to find out what the dynamic of 5 competing groups, where diplomacy is encouraged and backstabbing expected, ends up looking like. Equally we’re interested to see how groups opt to expand their territory – will they target reward zones and defend them, or will there be fierce competition for the Yellow Jersey? We don’t know, and that’s why we’re running this small scale test season.
In future seasons the Long War will be open to all Fractured Space players, with a limited window where captains can sign up to the various groups. It will also be possible for players to change group between seasons. This will be balanced in such a way that a group will be locked out if it starts to become overloaded with players, there may also be a handicapping system introduced in order to keep these groups balanced, however that will be decided at a later date.
Since the first season has a limited number of captains we will be conducting a draft, where the group leaders select their teams one at a time, to help ensure that no one group is significantly more capable than any other. To help the leaders make their selections we will publish the overall performance of captains signed up ahead of this draft, the results of which will be revealed live on our live stream.
Will we continue to use a hexagonal map?
Will there be other methods of gaining zones?
Will there be a bonus for linking zones together?
Will this be fully integrated into the game?
Remember, walk first, then run. The answer to all of the above is “maybe”, but we’re optimistic that this will provide an additional challenge for captains but we won’t know for certain until we try it. Feedback and suggestions are, of course, welcome over the course of this first season.
The next step in the Last War is the player draft which is split into two phases – drafting of devs, and drafting of players, the results of which we’ll reveal live. You will not want to miss out on finding which group you’ve been selected for.